Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Understanding Grace

I can remember, quite distinctly, the first time someone defined the word grace for me.  I was helping to paint one of the classrooms in the back of our old church – a light gray, if memory serves.  I was twelve years old.

My Sunday School teacher, who was leading the painting efforts, described grace as God’s unmerited favor.

I was a pretty bright kid, so I understood what the words unmerited and favor meant – kinda.  I stashed the definition away, ready for the next discussion at youth group or Sunday School.

As with many spiritual things, knowing a definition and understanding a truth are two, entirely different matters.

The definition was important.  The understanding was life-changing.

God loves you.

At it’s core, that’s what grace is – the love of God.  It’s a spectacular kind of love.  Demonstrated on the cross and revealed through the Gospel, grace is a radical truth flowing from the heart of a radical God.

The reality is, our God is a God of relationships – real relationships, with real people.  Religion, despite some good intentions, usually erects more barriers to relationship than it builds bridges.  God is not interested in formulaic prayers, ritualized worship, or choreographed services.  God is interested in people – individual people.  People like you.  People like me.

Once the light goes on – it stays on.

Once you encounter and understand real grace – the unchanging, eternal, forgiving, merciful, beautiful, challenging, grace of God – you are never the same.

The Grace Station exists to encourage you to learn more about God’s grace.

And the Word (Jesus) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

Grace and Peace – Paul’s Introductions To His Letters

The apostle Paul authored a good portion of the New Testament.  He had an awesome way of greeting his readers.

Check these verses out –

…to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Romans 1:7

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – 1 Corinthians 1:3

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – 2 Corinthians 1:2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Galatians 1:3

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Ephesians 1:2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Philippians 1:2

…To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father… – Colossians 1:2

…Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace… 1 Thessalonians 1:1

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… 2 Thessalonians 1:2

…To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord… – 1 Timothy 1:2

…To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord… 2 Timothy 1:2

…To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior… – Titus 1:4

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Philemon 1:3

Regardless of original audience – an individual believer or a group of believers – Paul begins each letter with a salutation of grace!

Paul goes beyond the standard greeting of the day, combines like-terms from two predominate cultures, and brings forth eternal truth.  God, in Christ, has presented to us his grace – his unending, unmerited, undeserved, remarkable, reconciling, redeeming – grace – and anyone who accepts Christ and His grace – will have true peace.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Photo attribution: Ryk Neethling

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